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If you are looking for a snow blower repair contractor, read our guide and find out the cost of hiring a snow blower repair professional.
Winter reminds us of childhood memories of snowball fights and white Christmases without the worry of how to walk through the pathway or driveway. And depending on where you live, you can expect too much or a little snow. Despite the scenic and peaceful surrounding created by the snow, you must carry out your normal duties. So, you must get rid of it.
A snow blower is almost similar to a leaf blower since it produces wind to blow the snow away. It can either be gas or electrically powered and can be single or two stage, with each type designed for a different level of snow. So if you are not for the strenuous work of getting rid of snow with a shovel, you have another option. Moreover, a snow blower not only works on the driveway but also on all outdoor surfaces covered with snow.
However, just like all other mechanical tools, a snow blower can break down. So if it gets damaged, it’s vital to know who can fix the problem for you. The following are the common issues with snow blowers:
Defective spark plug: Examine the spark plug for wear, cracks, deposits or any other damage. Check whether the porcelain insulator has a crack (s), any electrode is worn out, or carbon has accumulated on the electrode. If you notice any of these, you replace the spark plug.
In case you don’t notice any damage; you can use a spark plug tester to ensure it is functioning optimally. Run the engine and place the tester on the spark plug, it should produce a strong spark on the terminals. If it doesn’t give a spark, your spark plug is malfunctioning.
Old fuel: Once the winter season is over, most people put away the snow blower in their garage and will only think about it the next season.
So, if you had left oil in the blower, you should drain it before use since it can stop the gadget from operating. You just disconnect the fuel line between the carburetor and fuel tank, drain in a pan and get rid of it.
Also, if the carburetor has leftover fuel, remove the carburtttor bowl, drain the fuel, clean the bowl, and then replace the bowl gasket.
Clogged carburetor: If you leave fuel in your snow blower for extended periods, it may lead to a clogged carburetor. As we all know some fuel elements can evaporate with time, which leaves a thick and sticky substance preventing the engine from running. So, you need the carburetor cleaner to remove the clog, but if it still doesn’t work, you should consider repairing or replacing the entire carburetor.
Flywheel Key: The small piece of metal that fits into crankshaft to engage the flywheel is known as the flywheel key. If the snowblower hits a hard object, the flywheel key can shear into halves. As a result, the engine stops instantly. Therefore, if your snow blower hits an item and suddenly stops, you should examine it for a broken flywheel key.
Snow build-up: If you have blown snow for an extended period, the snow may accumulate in the blower. This may result in the blower failing to blow. So, turn the blower off and clear out any buildup in the chute. If the chute is clean, maybe it’s either the auger or the auger drive system that has issues and should be examined.
Faulty impeller: Snow blower’s impeller /auger move the snow through the chute. If it breaks or jams, it cannot propel the snow. Examine the impeller for wear and tear regularly, and repair or replace it if necessary.
Damaged paddles or scraper bar: If you are using a single stage snow blower, you may encounter this problem. A worn out scraper bar or paddle with holes can hardly clear snow as required. If that’s the case, they should be repaired or replaced. Also, note that both the scraper and paddle experience wear and tear at the same rate; thus should be replaced at the same time.
Shear bolt: This is the metal bolt that moves along the auger axle sleeve to lock it with the auger drive axle. If the auger hits a hard object, the shear bolts break into halves to prevent the engine from any damage. However, once it breaks, the auger can no longer turn. So, if your blower does not blow ice, check whether the shear bolt is broken. If it is, replace or repair it.
Auger assembly: The assembly consists of shear pins and auger blade. The auger blade (s) is designed to assemble the snow then throws it out from the chute. Just like other parts, you need to examine whether the shear pins are worn or broken and if the auger blades are bent or damaged. If any of them or the entire assembly is faulty, replace or repair them.
Cogged belt: The cogged belt is prone to stretching out, breaking, or misalignment, which may prevent the tool from blowing snow. If you notice any of the signs, the belt should be repaired or replaced.
V-belt: It is the V-belt that moves the drive pulleys to drive the wheels of the blower. But, if it is damaged, the snowblower cannot turn. Thus, if you notice it is faulty, you should replace it.
Faulty shear bolt or pin: The bolts/pins are used to tighten the augers. However, if the snow blower hits a hard object or rock, they break to ensure the engine doesn’t get damaged. As a result, the auger cannot turn. So, if that’s the case, you need to find a snow blower repair professional.
Broken V-belt or cogged belt: The belts connect the engine to the gearbox. Unfortunately, if any of them is broken or worn out, the auger cannot turn. Thus, you should check the belts for any damage, and if you note any of the above, have them repaired.
Defective auger cable: A damaged auger cable can prevent the auger from turning. So, if the auger cable is broken or worn, it should be replaced.
Damaged auger blades: Auger blades are prone to bending, wear and tear, and getting damaged as well. If the blades have any of the signs, consider replacing them.
Gas leakage in a snow blower can be caused by:
Missing or dried out carburetor gasket/bowl gasket
Broken fuel filter: Poor connections to the filter housing and fuel filter, cracked fuel lines and pulse line can cause gas leakage. However, it is not recommended to fix it yourself, instead visit a professional snow blower repairer near you.
Carburetor: The vibration and heat coming from the engine can crack the carburetor. As a result, it starts to leak fuel. Thus, the carburetor must be repaired or replaced. But if it is not cracked, check whether the carburetor float is stuck open. If it is, the carburetor should be cleaned thoroughly.
Primer bulb: The primer bulb is made of rubber, which is brittle and can easily crack causing gas leakage. If it’s leaking, look for the best repair contractor to repair or replace it.
Fuel Shut-Off valve/solenoid: If the fuel shut-off valve is not tightly fixed or the fuel shut-off solenoid is cracked, they can lead to gas leaks. Therefore, if either is leaking, repair or replace immediately.
Damaged wheel: Before you use your snow blower, inspect it for a flat tire and whether the wheel rim is faulty. If that’s the case, they should be repaired or replaced.
Defective cogged or V-belt: The belts connect the engine to the gearbox. Unfortunately, if any of them is broken or worn out, the auger cannot turn. Thus, you should check the belts for any damage, and if you note any of the above, have them repaired.
Defective drive disk: The outer side of the drive disk is made of rubber, which holds and turns the drive plate. However, if it is worn out or greasy, it slips preventing the wheels from turning. It should be cleaned thoroughly if greasy or wet, and repaired if worn out.
Broken cable control: If the cable cannot move freely, then it might be broken. If greasy, apply a lubricant, but if it doesn’t work, visit a snow blower expert for repair or replacement.
If you are not in a position to fix any of the above snowblower problems, or you are not a DIY enthusiast, take your machine to a reputable snow blower repair professional.
There are different types of snow blowers including single-stage and two-stage blowers. Just as the cost of purchasing each of them is different, so is the cost of repair. But, before we look at the repair costs, let’s look at the difference between the two, shall we?
If you want to remove snow on short driveways, sidewalks, or walkways, the single-stage snow blower is your perfect fit. It is light-weight, compact and easy to work with. However, it is only suitable if the snow is less than 8 inches high.
How does it work? The auger (the blades on the front of the blower) performs two functions: it sucks up the snow and discharges it through a discharge chute. It should only be used on paved surfaces since the auger comes into contact with the surface. It is not recommended for regions prone to wet snow or heavy rainfall since it does not produce adequate power.
|TUNE UP SNOWBLOWERS SINGLE STAGE||Average Cost $65-$75|
|Inspect and adjust Throttle Controls|
|Inspect, clean, and overhaul fuel system as needed|
|Inspect Governor system|
|Inspect Starter & rewind Assembly|
|Replace and Repair||$95 – $180|
|Inspect/ Repair/replace paddles (approx. $30 each)|
|Inspect/ Repair/replace scraper (approx. $20 each)|
|Inspect/ Repair/replace Ignition System|
|Replace Spark Plug|
|Inspect exhaust System|
|Replacing belt and auger paddles|
|Inspect/ Repair/replace Belt|
This type has wheels, which assists in clearing large areas and slopes. The auger is specifically designed to suck up the snow and a separate fan or gizmo also known as “impeller” is devoted to discharging the snow via the chute.
The auger in the two-stage gas snow blowers doesn’t come into contact with the surface, which means you can blow snow even on gravel or crushed stone walkways and driveways. However, there is a downside of the auger not touching the surface; a thin coat of snow is left behind.
|TWO STAGE SNOW BLOWER TUNE-UP||Average cost $84.95-$100|
|Inspect, clean, and overhaul fuel system|
|Inspect Governor system|
|Inspect Scraper Bar|
|Replace Spark Plug|
|Inspect Throttle Controls and adjust as needed|
|Inspect Impeller System|
|Repair or replace||$125 – $195|
|Inspect/ Repair/replace Starter & rewind|
|Inspect/ Repair/replace Skids|
|Inspect/ Repair/replace Ignition System|
|Inspect/ Repair/replace exhaust System|
|Inspect/ Repair/replace Belts|
|Inspect/ Repair/replace Drive System|
Different regions experience different winter conditions. Some areas have mild conditions while others experience extreme ice, snow and freezing temperature.
Being a natural cause that can’t be avoided, people experiencing the latter must prepare for the season with the best snow blower to clear their driveways and sidewalks. However, most homeowners are left with expensive repairs because of misusing their equipment.
To avoid such repairs, you should know the common mistakes that seem pretty obvious but are ignored by many, as well as how to avoid them.
Guilty about this? As we all know, not everyone takes their time to read through the owner’s manual. Most manufacturers if not all, provide the manual for you to read before operating a machine or equipment. It gives instructions on how to set up the machine and can also help you fix common problems such as a clogged chute.
Therefore, always ensure that you read the manual before running the machine to avoid major problems and also when you face minor issues.
We all have those moments when you feel too lazy to finish any task, and snow removal is no exception. However, such instance can create both frustrating and dangerous situations.
Don’t allow the urge to stay indoors prevent you from getting the job done or lay down hoping that the weather will change and melt all the snow away.
Unluckily, if you or any member of the family wants to leave the house, they cannot until the snow is removed. Too much snow will form a barrier, which would be hard to remove with the snow blower or even break it if allowed to accumulate. So, don’t wait until then!
Depending on your region, you can predict when to expect a big storm. Although it takes time, it is vital to get ready beforehand. It becomes easier and manageable to deal with snow as it increases instead of trying to handle several feet at once.
Don’t allow the snow to pile up, instead, remove the snow several times during the season. This way, you will be making the job easier, especially if you are not used to physical labour. Also, you will be able to tackle large amounts of snow in case you don’t have the right equipment.
In addition, most people forget about the back doors or gate. While it’s common for homeowners to shovel the front walks and driveways, the other parts are left unattended. So, the next time someone wants to use the gate or door, it cannot open because the snow is several feet high and maybe frozen.
When looking for a snow blower, choose one that has an adjustable blade. This can allow you to raise or lower the blades to have room for different ground covers and different types of snow.
For instance, if your pathway or driveway is made of pavers, asphalt, or concrete, or any other smooth surface, you don’t have to worry. But, if it is made of gravel, you need the adjustable blade. If you set the blades too low on a gravel surface, your snow blower might start throwing the pieces of gravel all over. This may cause a lot of damage to people and property around you. Therefore, always ensure that your blade is high enough to get rid of the snow on the gravel surface.
If you are a first-time buyer, don’t make this mistake. There are different types of snow throwers, and each type is designed for specific winter conditions. Ensure that the snow blower you choose can tackle the type of terrain and snow of the place it will be used.
For example, a strong single-stage snow thrower is ideal for flat areas that experience light snowfall. On the other hand, two-stage snow thrower is the best fit for regions with heavy accumulation.
Therefore, to make the job easier, buy a thrower that has a clearing width that matches the clearing area. Generally, the larger the snow clearing area, the wider the snow blower’s width, and vice versa.
Also, when considering the features, choose one with good tire tread and power steering, to manoeuvre the snowblower easily.
If you leave fuel for long in the fuel tank, it can clog the carburetor. So, add fuel stabiliser at the end of the season to prevent it from clogging.
Also, before the winter season starts, make sure you add the right fuel combination found on gas caps or in the owner’s manual.
Although no one likes to remove snow, the job must be done. Fortunately, you can avoid common mistakes when doing the job-saving time, money and avoiding damages. Always remember the basic procedures such as dressing properly and maintaining your health. If you feel like the weather is affecting you, go inside immediately. Avoid the risk of heart attacks and other cold-related condition when clearing your driveway.
As we said earlier, there are electric, cordless (battery operated) and gas snow blowers. When it comes to care and maintenance electric snow blowers do not require extensive maintenance. This is because it doesn’t require changing spark plugs or oil apart from the periodical replacement of worn out parts.
Cordless snow blowers are low maintenance, but you may have to replace the batteries with time.
Finally, the gas snow blowers require lots of regular care and maintenance. You regularly need to change oil, replace spark plugs, and shear pins among other parts. Fortunately, the cost of maintenance is low.
So, this maintenance guide will largely focus on taking care of gas snow blowers since they are a bit complex, and might need the help of a snow blower repairer.
Oil: Snowblower experts recommend that you change oil after 5 hours of use. From there, you can use it until the end or after using it for fifty hours. But, to ensure the oil is at the right level or not too dirty, you can check after every 5 hours of use.
Spark plugs: These should be replaced once every season or after using it for 100 hours. However, it’s always advisable to clean the spark plugs after 20-30 hours of use to ensure it’s clean and whether it needs to be replaced.
Fuel stabiliser: At the end of every season, you should add the fuel stabiliser to preserve the remaining gas in the tank. This can help at the start of the next season when starting it. However, some people prefer to run the engine until the carburetor, lines and tanks are empty, and the engine turns off.
Shear pins: If you want to prolong the lifespan of your snow blower; it must have the shear pins also known as bolts. They are made to break if the augers experience too much force, for instance, if it hits a large rock. Luckily, they don’t cost too much, which depends on your area as they prevent expensive damage from occurring. Therefore, they should be replaced immediately.
Skid Shoes: They protect augers placed in two-stage snow blowers from scratching the ground or from collecting small rocks. Thus if they are worn out or broken, consider replacing them.
In a market with many companies that offer varying level of skills and experience, finding the best snow blower repair technician can be an uphill task. There are various ways which you can find quality services at an affordable rate, but you must ensure that you follow the right route for your specific issue. The following tips can help make your quest for a repair contractor easier and pleasant.
Obviously, a reputable snow blower contractor has several satisfied clients. So, you must find these clients. However, the contented customer will not come looking for you to tell you about the company. It’s up to you seek them out. Asking your friends, co-workers, and relatives is one of the best ways to start your quest for a repair technician although it’s not the only the thing to consider.
The Internet has made it simpler to locate a snow blower technician much easier. You only need to enter the query on the search engine, which gives a number of companies you can choose from. You also get more detailed information about the repair company than you can get from your phone book or other people. You even get to read testimonials from previous clients, ratings as well as helpful information about your specific problem.
Assemble the list of your prospective snow blower technicians, call each one of them and ask questions such as:
The response you get will show the reliability, availability and commitment of the company to fix your problem.
After the phone interviews, pick at least three or four repair contractor to meet for quotation and further discussion. Each one of them should answer your questions satisfactorily and in a way that puts you at ease. It is imperative that both of you understand each other because this person will be handling your equipment. However, personality should not fool you. Consult your local Better Business Bureau (BBB) and consumer protection agency before you hire. This will ensure that he/she has no history of disputes with previous clients or employees.
After narrowing down your list, it’s time to conduct research. Call the previous clients to ask about the degree of services offered by the company. This step is crucial because there are cases where clients take their equipment and other gadgets for repair only to become more damaged than they were. Your snow blower is an investment, which must be guarded.
Now that you have a shorter list, whose track records are exceptional and whose work ethic is impeccable? At this point, you don’t have to look at the past work, instead focus on your snow blower problem. A reliable contractor will only need to know the problem with the machine, when you need it, and the amount you intend to spend on the repairs. Ask all the contractors to break down the costs so that you can compare bids.
When hiring a snow blower repairer, it is essential to come up with a payment plan beforehand. A payment schedule can help you know the contractor’s work ethics and financial status. If he/she wants you to pay half of the cost estimate upfront, the company may be experiencing financial problems or just need an assurance that you will come back.
Draft a contract that entails every step of the repair process: payment schedule, warranty, project completion, spare parts to be used and a valid working license. Asking for a detailed contract doesn’t mean lack of confidence and trust. It’s about insuring a successful repair.
The search for a good snow blower repair professional is easy since there are many companies offering the repair services. However, the higher the number of service providers, the higher the chances of getting disappointed or scammed or getting a capable person. Therefore you have to be choosy with your repair money to get the best fit for the job. These 10 questions will help you distinguish between a reliable snow blower repairer and a scammer.
A dependable repair should offer a warranty for his/her services. A warranty may cover complete failure, wear and tear, a free repair and maintenance program in case your blower gets damaged days after the repair. So, before you settle on a repair company, ensure that it has the warranty covers.
How many similar repair jobs has he/she recently handled? No matter how small or big your repair needs are, reference are essential for feedback on the performance of your prospective contractor. You can ask for at least two contacts one for more information on the level of services the repairer offers.
Since we are in a digital era, most prospects have websites where past clients can write testimonials or give ratings. A simple research on the internet can help you determine whether it’s worth hiring the contractor or not. Choose one with a good reputation and reviews.
Most repair have set an average or standard cost for every type of repair. However, before asking for the quotation, make sure he/she understand the problem with your specific blower. If the mechanic hasn’t examined the unit, you may not get the correct charges. Also, get the cost estimate in writing to avoid payment issues later.
Everyone expects to find skilled and experience mechanics during a visit to a repair workshop. So, ask for their certifications to avoid similar snow blower problems in the future. Whether you are dealing with one repairer or a team, it’s essential to ensure the job can be handled professionally.
Today, there are many manufacturers in the market, thus the many snow blower models. When producing a certain model, they must also make its repair parts as well. A reputable repair company should not solely depend on one manufacturer. Instead, they should source the parts from different manufacturers as well as have knowledge on technology to choose the right equipment.
Most people think that quotations are similar, but that’s not the case. What’s stated in the estimate makes all the difference. For instance, will the existing defective parts connecting to the unit be repaired or replaced with new parts including blades, spark plug, carburetor, auger cables and shear pins? Repair and replacement are two different things and cost differently. However, don’t cut corners to lower the prices; you may end up paying more for the same service in the long run.
A detailed quotation can include all the needed parts for the service, labour, maintenance and warranty.
If you find a repair company that provides a maintenance program, this shows their confidence on their services. Such programs ensure that you are up to date with consistent maintenance for your unit. For example, the company will always ensure the blower is clean, lubricated, pressurized, and at its best performance.
When looking for a repair company, most homeowners will only look at one side of the team. For instance, you may have chosen a specific repairer based on the information you get from your friends or relatives. Later on, you may find that he/she or the teams lacks the skills and knowledge to fix the problem. No one wants to spend money on poor services.
So, to avoid all these, ask beforehand for a written money back guarantee. With this, in case your unit fails immediately after the repair, you can ask for your money.
Most repair companies will give you a waiver form for fill and sign. It includes prices and their obligations if the unit becomes faulty in the near future. A reliable company should have a documented way of handling such issues when they occur, although different repair workshops use different policies.
If you are given the waiver form, go through it carefully and ask for a copy of the same. If they don’t address the issue that brought you there, ask how to go about it. If they cannot fix any damages that might occur after the repair, look elsewhere for the services.
You can expect all type of answers from this question, which can be a major factor when considering a repair company. For instance, the company might be a bit expensive than their competition because their repair parts are of high-quality. If they are cheaper, don’t hesitate to ask them why too. The response you get can help you know about their level of services offered, experience and commitment to give the best.